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Some Republicans back Democrat Casey

By Paul J. Nyden

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones and Tom Lane, president of the Charleston City Council, are among the Republicans who will back Democratic congressional candidate Nick Casey in the November election, according to Casey’s campaign.

Casey for Congress announced Thursday it’s creating a “Republicans for Casey” groups throughout West Virginia’s Second Congressional District.

Casey, a lawyer and political leader from Charleston, is running for the seat being vacated by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

Alex Mooney, his Republican opponent in the November general election, lives in Martinsburg, where he recently moved from Maryland.

Casey’s campaign said this is the first of several regional “Republicans for Casey” groups that will be announced in coming weeks.

The first group, announced on Thursday, is in the Charleston-Kanawha County area. According to a press release, besides the mayor and city councilman, other Republican members of the new group are:

n Priscilla Haden, former president of the West Virginia Board of Education.

n Ted Armbrecht, a local business leader, former president of the Stone & Thomas Department Store, and former member of the Charleston City Council

n Ben Bailey, a top aide to Gov. Arch Moore from 1985 to 1988, who now runs the Bailey & Glasser law firm which has 10 offices in West Virginia and other states.

n Marc Harman, a longtime lobbyist and former member of the House of Delegates from Grant County for 10 years.

Casey’s Republican supporters also include:

n Local business leaders W. Martin Riggs, Kim Winkler, Tony Tallarico, Rich Rashid, Charlie Dennie, Connie Lucas and Ron Lucas.

n Teays Valley physician and surgeon Leonard Fichter.

n Charleston lawyers Angel Moore, Steve Farmer and Troy Giatras.

n Accountants Tim Gibbons, Dick Williams, Danny Simms and Bob Nistendirk.

Nick Clemens, Mooney’s campaign manager, said, “Nick Casey is desperately trying to cover up his liberal record of campaigning for President Obama and supporting coal-killing regulations such as the Kyoto Protocol.

“Nick Casey has a history of supporting liberal policies that are out of touch with true West Virginia values. Alex Mooney is the only candidate in this race who will stand up to President Obama and the Obama policies that Nick Casey supports,” Clemens said.

In his press release, Casey said, “Since the primary, I’ve been humbled by the outpouring of support from respected Republicans from all around the Second District who have offered to help my campaign in some way.”

Casey criticized Mooney’s “recent opportunistic move to West Virginia just so he could run for office.”

Mooney served as a state senator in Maryland from 1999 to 2011. In December 2010, Mooney was elected chairman of Maryland’s Republican Party.

Mooney moved to West Virginia’s Second Congressional District in 2013, after he had already filed to run for Congress in Maryland in the 2014 election cycle.

“Mooney apparently owns no home in West Virginia, has not paid property taxes in the state and only voted here for the first time in the May primary election,” stated the press release from Casey’s campaign.

Mark Polen, a spokesman for Casey’s campaign, said, “Nearly all of Mooney’s contributions in the primary were raised from out-of-state, and he then used those funds to run negative ads against well-established and respected West Virginia Republican candidates.

“Nick Casey is a true West Virginian and these endorsements are a testament to the trust he has earned throughout his business and professional career,” Polen said.

Polen expects Republican support for Casey to increase during the campaign.

“The endorsements Nick Casey is receiving from leaders of the Republican Party show he will be a bi-partisan leader who can convey West Virginia’s message to Washington that the Second District is tired of a dysfunctional Congress and a lack of focus on the priorities of our state.”

Ian Prior, Northeast Regional Press Secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said, “Nick Casey has spent his entire political career tossing offensive insults at anyone that disagrees with his pro-Obama policies.

“It’s laughable that Casey now thinks he can erase years of vicious attacks on Republican voters in the hopes that they’ll all join him at the campfire to sing Kumbaya.”

Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjnyden@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.


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